Sun 22 Oct, 2017

Greens will keep pushing hard for the government to invest in what really matters, restoring teacher & support staff numbers and Additional Support Needs staff in particular. Ross Greer MSP

Scottish Greens meeting at their Autumn conference in Edinburgh today (22 Oct) agreed to call on the Scottish Government to withdraw its "unwanted and unhelpful" education governance reforms and instead commit to increased funding for local councils to return staff to classrooms.

Members supported a motion which noted that one in four pupils in Scotland has a recognised additional support need but since 2010 over 500 ASN teachers and hundreds of specialist support staff have been cut.

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“A decade of cuts to our schools has caused so much damage and must be reversed. The governance reforms being proposed by SNP Ministers are a distraction and fly in the face of the evidence and overwhelming opinion of those involved in Scottish education.

“Greens will keep pushing hard for the government to invest in what really matters, restoring teacher & support staff numbers and Additional Support Needs staff in particular. These changes to governance structures are unwanted, unneeded and unhelpful.”

Full Motion Text:

Conference opposes the Scottish Government’s proposed reforms to education governance as they address concerns which were not being raised, ignore the real challenges to Scottish education, undermine the role of democratically elected local councils and represent a significant centralisation of power over Scottish education.

We note that OECD research commissioned by the Scottish Government does not support the need for structural change, that the Scottish Government’s council of international experts on education has warned against becoming focused on structural reform at the expense of more important issues, and that the majority of Scottish education stakeholders – including teachers, parents, pupils, and local authorities – have opposed reform of the current governance structure.

We recognise that the primary issue facing education in Scotland today is funding. A decade of austerity experienced by local authorities has resulted in 4,000 fewer teachers, as well as the loss of over a third of school librarians and hundreds of support & administrative staff since the SNP came to power. One in four pupils in Scotland have a recognised additional support need but since 2010 over 500 ASN teachers and hundreds of specialist support staff have also been cut.

We believe this decade of austerity has in particular failed those young people who need our support the most. The Scottish Green Party calls on the Scottish Government to withdraw its unwanted and unhelpful governance reforms and instead commit to increased funding and a fiscal framework for local councils which can rapidly return much needed staff to our classrooms.

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